Real Woods, an All-American at Stanford, is transferring to join the Iowa wrestling program
The Iowa wrestling program picked up a monster recruiting victory on Saturday.
Real Woods, an All-American for Stanford this past season, announced through his personal Instagram that he is transferring to join the Hawkeyes. Woods has wrestled at 141 pounds his entire career thus far and has two years of eligibility remaining.
"Today begins a new chapter," Woods wrote. "While I'm very excited to pursue my last two years of eligibility as a Hawkeye, I can't help but think of the people and memories that have made my Stanford experience special."
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Woods will fill the spot at 141 left by Jaydin Eierman, whose eligibility has now expired. Eierman also transferred to the Iowa program after four years at Missouri, and reached the NCAA finals in 2021 as part of the Hawkeyes' team title-winning efforts.
From a national standpoint, 141 pounds is expected to be wide open next season, since the top three finishers at this year's NCAA Championships — Penn State's Nick Lee, North Carolina's Kizhan Clarke, Rutgers' Sebastian Rivera — will all graduate. That leaves a lot of opportunity for athletes like Woods, who are expected to be in the title hunt.
The addition of Woods also means Iowa is now projected to have four All-Americans in its 2022-23 starting lineup, along with Spencer Lee at 125, Jacob Warner at 197 and Tony Cassioppi at 285. They'll be the linchpins in a Hawkeye lineup that's expected to have talented young wrestlers step into starting roles next season.
In three seasons at Stanford, Woods compiled a career record of 42-8 and was a three-time NCAA qualifier. He also won a pair of Pac-12 titles and was on the roster when the Cardinal won the 2019 Pac-12 team championship. Of his 42 career wins, he's scored bonus points in 26. All 8 of his career losses have come to All-Americans.
In 2020, Woods went 19-1 and earned the 3-seed at 141 pounds before the NCAA Championships were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, he battled through injuries, went 6-3 and reached the bloodround at the national tournament. This past season, he went 17-4 and took sixth after reaching the semifinals.
"To the Stanford wrestling fans, it has been an honor putting on what I hope has been an exciting showcase of my ability over the past four years," Woods continued in his Instagram post. "I am proud beyond words to have represented that Stanford S on my back. There will always be a special place in my heart for you."
Now he will join an Iowa team eyeing a second NCAA team championship in three years. The Hawkeyes won the 2021 team title, then took third this past season, behind Penn State and Michigan — two programs that were in the hunt for Woods' services when he entered the transfer portal this past week, along with Oklahoma State.
Woods entered the portal as a graduate transfer (he spent four years at Stanford when you count his redshirt year in 2018-19), but decided quickly on Iowa City. He attended Montini Catholic near Chicago, where he won three state titles, and was the No. 21 overall prospect on Flowrestling's 2018 Big Board when he originally signed with the Cardinal.
With Woods' addition, Iowa's 2022-23 lineup could look something like this:
- 125: Spencer Lee
- 133: Cullan Schriever
- 141: Real Woods
- 149: Max Murin
- 157: Bretli Reyna/Cobe Siebrecht
- 165: Patrick Kennedy
- 174: Nelson Brands
- 184: Abe Assad
- 197: Jacob Warner
- 285: Tony Cassioppi
That's a young-but-hungry Hawkeye lineup, fortified by the new-but-experienced face at 141 pounds.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.